PI Editorial: Feeling like forever elections in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

PI Editorial: Feeling like forever elections in Glenwood Springs

Post Independent Editorial Board

Less than a month out from Glenwood Springs City Council elections with roughly 30% turnout, our current city council voted 5-2 to schedule a special election for June 13 on whether or not to extend operating hours for marijuana businesses.

To quickly get the substance of the vote out of the way: we are incredibly unbothered about the entire matter. The planning commission voted against extending hours from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., but the Glenwood Springs Police Department noted there appears to be no correlation between crime and marijuana businesses.

Frankly, that comes as no surprise to us. Most “sin” businesses face a higher level of scrutiny than others and strive to be not just above the board legally but good neighbors as well. Voting in favor would likely benefit our local marijuana businesses, but voting no is unlikely to have any great impact.

What’s perhaps more important to us about this is the fact that six of our current city council members balked at making a decision and instead punted it to an electorate so soon after (again) an election with anemic low turnout. 

Council member Marco Dehm and Mayor Jonathan Godes voted against organizing the special election, and we appreciate the mayor’s comments on the matter. Noting that it would be the city’s fifth election in 16 months, Godes pointed out that council members are elected to make decisions such as this.

“I don’t think all these things should have to go to a special election every time,” he said at the April 6 council meeting. 

We wholeheartedly agree, and worry about a governing board so seemingly shy of making those decisions. Again, in this particular case we don’t even think the issue is divisive. Extending marijuana business hours or not is unlikely to significantly alter life in Glenwood Springs.

Although it is too late to do anything about this special election (and please, still vote), we hope that more council members will pause and ask themselves next time, “Is this really a decision I am incapable of making?” After all, the voters put them in office because they trust their ability to make policy.

The Post Independent editorial board members are Publisher and Editor Peter Baumann, Managing Editor John Stroud and community representative Mark Fishbein.

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